ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Interim St. Louis coach Jim Haslett says an existing leg injury limited Steven Jackson to just one carry in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins.
Coming off a quadriceps injury that caused him to miss four games, Jackson rushed for 94 yards on 21 carries and had one reception for 16 yards against the Dolphins (7-5), who beat the Rams 16-12. It was the sixth-straight loss for St. Louis (2-10).
Jackson touched the ball just six times in the second half, with his lone carry in the fourth quarter a 1-yard gain with 14:04 to play.
"He was gassed and his leg started to bother him," Haslett said.
Jackson said he was disappointed, but not surprised, that he wasn't in the game at crunch time.
"Oh yeah, it was definitely frustrating, but it wasn't something that caught me off guard," Jackson said. "I knew I'd be sharing some time with the guys."
Jackson suffered a quad injury against Dallas on Oct. 19 and reinjured it two weeks later against Arizona.
His return gave a spark to the offense, which is last in the NFL in scoring and red zone efficiency. St. Louis had three scoring drives in the first half, two in the red zone, but managed only three Josh Brown field goals.
"I think it was quite evident when he was in there," Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said. "The first half, he was really rolling."
In the first 30 minutes, Jackson rushed for 72 yards and caught his lone pass.
"I appreciate Steven getting out there under the conditions he hasn't done much in the past month," Haslett said. "He's a heck of a football player. When you lose a guy like him, it is hard to replace him."
Jackson said he came through the game in good shape.
"The quad is tight and sore but there's no setback," he said.
The offensive line was glad to be blocking for Jackson again.
"I think guys were excited and he was excited to be back," said tackle Orlando Pace, who returned after missing last week's game with a knee injury.
Despite having Jackson back, though, the Rams could not get into the end zone. In the last four games, St. Louis has had eight field goals and but only one touchdown, which came in the final minutes of a blowout loss at San Francisco.
For the season, the Rams have been in the red zone 19 times but have just five touchdowns to show for it.
Receiver Dane Looker, who led St. Louis with six catches for 52 yards on Sunday, said he's not sure why the Rams aren't more effective in the red zone.
"I don't have those answers," Looker said. "We have plays that should work down there. For some reason or the other, we're not pulling them off. That's players. The coaches can draw up the greatest plays in the world, but we have to execute them. But sometimes, you know what, the defense wins."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)